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5 Signs It’s Time to Give Up on DIY and Call a Plumber

plumbing working on a job

With all the DIY videos on YouTube, doing your own home repairs has become a popular way to save money. But when it comes to plumbing, doing it yourself can lead to burst pipes, sewage backup, and other costly disasters.

Don’t take the risk: Know when to call a pro.

The following is a list of common plumbing issues you should not attempt to fix yourself. If you experience any of these issues, you need to call a plumber.

Low Water Pressure

The cause of low water pressure can be difficult to determine. It may be a warning sign of a clog or a leak. Or it could be a problem with the water company, like a burst water main.

Whatever the cause, attempting to fix the problem yourself is likely to damage your pipes and make the problem worse.

Resistant Clogs

Most of the time, drain clogs are not hard to solve yourself. You should be able to unclog pipes with a simple drain snake tool or monthly application of a liquid drain cleaner like Drain-O.

But if a clog persists with little or no improvement after you try these methods, you need to call a plumber. Too many attempts to release a stubborn clog can cause too much pressure and damage the pipes. Excessive use of liquid drain cleaner can damage plumbing as well.

Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are a plumbing emergency. If you experience frozen pipes, call a plumber as soon as possible.

Water expands when it freezes. When that happens in your pipes, it can cause pipes to burst. These burst pipes can flood your home or damage your foundation. Burst pipes are also extremely difficult to locate, reach, and fix.

Signs your pipes may be frozen include stopped water, clanking noises when water is turned on, or visible frost on the pipes. If you experience any of these, don’t hesitate to call a plumber.

Strange Pipe Noises

If you hear the sound of water running through your pipes when no one is using them, you probably have a leak. If not taken care of, this can quickly cause damage and even flooding in your home.

A gurgling noise is probably the sign of a blocked drain pipe that must be addressed. Call a professional for help.

Sulfur, Sewage, or Gas Smell

If you smell an odor like rotten eggs in your house, it might be the sign of a broken vent or burst sewer pipe. This would be extremely hazardous to your home and the environment. Get professional help right away.

Similarly, if it smells like gas in your house, leave the house immediately. Do not turn any electronics on or off, and do nothing that could cause a spark. Get out of your house, then call your utility company and 911 from outside.

Call a Plumber

Don’t ignore these scary warning signs. Call a plumber before things get much, much worse.

See all our services here, or contact us to make an appointment today.

Understanding Types of Foundation Cracks and How to Treat Them

As a homeowner, one of the scariest things you may come across is a crack in your home’s foundation.

Foundation cracks are certainly a cause for concern, as they may point to a problem. In severe situations, cracks are symptoms of hazardous structural issues. In other cases, they simply mean water is seeping into your basement during heavy rainstorms.

So, how can you tell if you have a serious crack or a minor crack? More importantly, how do you go about fixing it?

Here’s a guide for telling the difference between normal versus serious foundation cracks and how to repair them.

close up of foundation crack

Vertical Foundation Cracks

A vertical crack in your foundation is the least threatening type of crack you may see in your foundation. In fact, nearly all houses have them.

These types of cracks form because concrete can crack easily when under tension. The problem with these cracks is that they allow water to seep through your foundation in heavy rainstorms. So, they’re worth fixing when you come across them.

An epoxy or urethane injection can easily be used to repair a vertical crack in your foundation. Because these materials are flexible, the future movement of your foundation won’t cause your sealed crack to re-open, so you can rest assured that your fix will be a permanent one.

Horizontal Cracks

Contrary to vertical cracks, a horizontal crack is the most severe type of crack that can occur in your home’s foundation. The cause of these types of cracks? A foundation that is bowing.

A bowing foundation is a serious problem, as it may ultimately lead to your foundation’s failure. This, in turn, can lead to the collapse of your home. However, strapping can be installed on your foundation’s interior area to keep your wall from continuing to bow.

In addition, reinforcing braces or posts may be installed in your crawlspace or basement to address a bowing foundation and the resulting horizontal cracks. Yet another option is to bury anchors in the ground to pull your foundation’s wall out and then secure it.

An industry professional can advise you on what solution is most appropriate in your case and help you get it fixed correctly and safely.

Diagonal Cracks

Diagonal foundation cracks are typically the result of foundation settling, whether your house is old or new. Fortunately, these types of cracks are relatively easy to repair.

The same injections used for horizontal cracks can also be used for diagonal cracks, except extra injection material will likely be needed. This is to account for future foundation movement.

How We Can Help

We offer top-of-the-line foundation repair services and products. We have a strong reputation for inspecting, repairing, and replacing foundation walls and damaged drain tiles.

With more than 20 years of experience in the southeastern part of Wisconsin, we can diagnose foundation issues resulting from unanticipated soil conditions, design changes, construction, and other common causes.

Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can address your foundation cracks and keep your home standing strong for years to come.

Water Leaks Wreak Havoc On Your Plumbing And The Environment

Did you know the average home wastes 10,000 gallons of water a year through leaks? That is enough to fill a backyard swimming pool! At the IHN Company, we hate leaks, and our Plumbing services for Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Madison are available to fix your leaks and prevent new ones from occurring. We believe in customer education, so we’re happy to present some valuable information about plumbing leaks that can help you avoid major household headaches.

Ten percent of U.S. homes waste 90 gallons or more per day through leaks – that’s more than three swimming pools per year! This wasted water is passed through our sewer systems and water treatment plants, only compounding the expense. In fact, preventing one home from a common water leak saves enough fresh water for one person to drink for 54 years!

Large scale leaks, like those caused by ruptured pipes, can cause flooding in the home. The result is property damage. Small scale leaks, if undetected, can also cause catastrophic damage to your home and health. If the impacted area doesn’t have the leak sealed, the water removed, and the area completely dried, mold growth can occur. These mold spores can be extremely damaging to the health and wellbeing of your family.

The first step of leak detection is close examination of your water usage. Don’t just pay that quarterly bill, compare it to your last bill and be sure to monitor the level of usage over time. If your home is using over 12,000 gallons of water per month, a leak is likely.

Don’t forget to use your senses. Listen for drips in the walls or toilets running on their own without being flushed, look for dark spots indicating moisture, and don’t ignore musty smells, even in your basement. With minimal skills, you can easily repair leaking toilets and other valves, but leakage that is occurring in hard-to-reach places is best left to the experts.

The IHN Company is proud of our exemplary plumbing work, and we are honored to be your choice for solving your most difficult plumbing problems. Our experienced team is ready and available for all kinds of plumbing problems, from minor fixes to major emergencies. a

Need plumbing leak repair for your home?

The IHN Company are your plumbing experts in the Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Madison areas. Contact us today for an estimate, and let us get your basement back to being dry, safe and comfortable. Call us today at 262-691-0402 or visit our website for more information.

All About Drain Tile

A home is only as strong as the foundation beneath it, so you really can’t take any chances when it comes to the structural integrity of your foundation. A safe, dry, and comfortable living space depends on the foundation, and the integrity of the foundation depends on proper drainage. If water is pooling at the base of your foundation, it will eventually find its way into your basement, eroding the foundation walls in the process. This leads to a wet, dank basement and a greatly weakened foundation. Most homes in the Milwaukee area use a drain tile system to remove water from the foundation walls and channel it away from the home, and if this system is failing, your foundation is in trouble. You’ll need a drain tile system expert, and in Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Madison areas, no one knows drain tile systems like The IHN Company.

Typically, drain tile is not tile at all, but a perforated pipe that runs the perimeter of your home at the bottom of the foundation wall. As rainwater and other moisture accumulates and flows along your foundation wall, it eventually collects into the drain tile, and either is removed by gravity or pumped away from the home.

Drain tile can become damaged due to breakdown of the material in older homes or due to the force of the earth on top of it. Once the drain tile is crushed, cracked or broken, it can no longer carry water the full length, leading to pooling against the foundation wall. As mentioned above, that water will eventually find its way into your basement. Clogs can also occur in drain tile, due to matter infiltrating the pipe itself or even clogging the perforations. In this situation, the water can’t move through the drain tile, overflowing and pooling against the foundation.

Shoddy workmanship and old and unreliable materials can also play a role in the health of your drain tile. If you live in an older home, it’s a good idea to have your drain tile checked for problems, before problems arise.

The IHN Company offers drain tile services that are second to none. Our #1 goal is the comfort of your living space and the health of your home, and we’ll work tirelessly to make sure that your drain tile is doing its job, and continues to do so for many years.

Need drain tile system repair for your home?

The IHN Company are your drain tile system repair experts in the Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Madison areas. Contact us today for an estimate, and let us get your basement back to being dry, safe and comfortable. Call us today at 262-691-0402 or visit our website for more information.

How to Conduct a Foundation Check-up

The foundation of your home is designed to withstand immense forces while keeping your home dry and structurally sound. These thick concrete walls deliver on that promise year after year of the deep freeze of Wisconsin winters, and the frequently intense rainfall of Wisconsin summers. Combined with an effective drain tile system and exterior grading to remove water from the foundation walls, you can expect many years of low-maintenance service from your home’s foundation. However, as homes age, the foundation walls often can break down and become weakened, leading to leaks, moisture, and eventually, structural damage that can affect the overall integrity of the building. When you find yourself in need of foundation repair in Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Madison, look no further than the experts at the IHN Company.

You may ask: “How do I know if my foundation is in need of repair before it’s too late?” There are several signs you can easily identify that will tip you off and let you know that it’s time to contact the foundation repair experts. Read on to learn now to give your foundation a quick checkup.

Look for cracks in your foundation

Vertical or horizontal cracks in the surface of either poured concrete or cinder block foundation walls are a warning sign. This is evidence that the water may be infiltrating the walls, or that the foundation has shifted position. In any case, you should immediately contact your experts at the IHN Company for a professional evaluation.

Examine the corners of your basement

Your basement floor should be dry to the touch at all times. Often, poor drainage or water infiltration can be evidenced by moisture in the corners. If you see dark, slightly damp patches in your concrete basement corners, you may have a problem with either the walls or drain tile that will continue to accelerate if not dealt with. In the case of a finished basement, if you detect a musty odor or damp feeling in the corners, the problem is especially critical, since it could easily result in mold in your home. Call IHN today in these cases for our expert evaluation.

Don’t ignore water seepage in the basement

Many homeowners will write off some water leakage in their basement as no big deal. Even if you just have a trickle of water coming in after a particularly heavy rain, it could be a sign of large-scale structural damage to the building’s foundation. Don’t ignore it and end up with a major problem to your home or your family’s health later.

Need foundation repair for your home?

The IHN Company are your foundation repair experts in the Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Madison areas. Contact us today for an estimate, and let us get your basement back to being dry, safe and comfortable. Call us today at 262-691-0402 or visit our website for more information.